E-mails from a military doctor in Iraq:

"These guys don't complain," the doctor wrote. "They only ask over and over, 'How is Sgt. Smith doing?' or 'When can I go back to work?' These guys are true heroes. I am so lucky to be a part of taking care of them."

Below, we had the lawyer's view. Now we have the reality:

Rashelle Perryman's first two babies were born at Crittenden County Hospital in Marion, Ky., about 10 minutes from home.

But her third child, due in June, is to be born in Madisonville, 40 miles away in Hopkins County, because rising malpractice-insurance rates caused doctors at Crittenden County Hospital to stop delivering babies last year.

That forced ...

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"Blaming the lawyers is just killing the messenger." Medical malpractice as viewed by the trial lawyers.

Changing his story: Frist tries to defend his tele-diagnosis of Terri Schiavo.

The American Academy of Dermatologists doesn't agree with the black box warning on Elidel:

"The AAD is very disappointed with this ruling by the FDA," AAD spokeswoman Abby Van Voorhees, MD, tells WebMD. "We don't think the science supports this harsh labeling. The link to cancer was not proven, and the data shows these medications to be quite safe."

Eczema patients -- and their doctors -- are going ...

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A physician turns his practice into a brothel. "Neil Benson, who shut his Coopers Beach practice in April last year, plans to call the new business venture Whalers.

He said he would hire 'professional girls' from outside the region and cater for locals and visiting tourists.

He admitted his plan was contentious, but said there had been 'a lot of support from the men in the community'.

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RIP primary care? Regular readers of this blog already know this:

Primary care -- the basic medical care that people get when they visit their doctors for routine physicals and minor problems -- could fall apart in the United States without immediate reforms, the American College of Physicians said on Monday.

"Primary care is on the verge of collapse," said the organization, a professional group which certifies internists, in ...

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Banning cell phones in hospitals may do more harm than good. "The prohibition against mobile phones in hospitals may do more harm than good, a new report reveals.

Medical facilities prohibit cell phone use, but some doctors already use them. And it turns out they reduce medical errors because communication is more timely, a new study finds.

Mobile phones rarely cause electronic magnetic interference, Yale School of ...

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Happy Chinese New Year



The Year of the Dog:

Dogs are born under the sign of idealism and no matter what size or shape they come in, a Dog's honesty and loyalty is there for all to see. Whether a stray down on his luck or a Cruft's champion of champions, the eternally touching expression in a Dog's eyes is invariably one of unconditional devotion. Few animal signs have such a wide ...

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A pedicatrician is sued for "behavior modification therapy":

The malpractice suit, filed Thursday in King County Superior Court by an unnamed plaintiff, accuses Schnall of improperly prescribing psychiatric medication and conducting "behavior modification therapy" in an attempt to groom the patient, now 16, for sexual contact.
I've never heard of psychiatric treatment to "groom" a teenager for sexual contact. Perhaps the psychiatrists who read this blog can educate me.

The Cheerful Oncologist talks about the inaccuracy of mainstream health reporting:

One of the frustrations of educating the public about new developments in cancer care is that most people get their information from the mainstream media, which in my opinion often fails to report these stories clearly and accurately. This leads folks to make broad assumptions about cancer and its treatment that can lead to disappointment and disillusion when they ...

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Washington Post on the latest Vioxx trial:

Another trial is in progress in South Texas in the case of Leonel Garza Sr., a retired auditor who died in 2001. The facts in the case make it relatively defensible for Merck -- Garza was 71, had a history of heart trouble and took samples of Vioxx for less than three weeks before his death, far less than the 18 months flagged ...

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PLoS Medicine on using search engines to find medical information:

Google will not point to the answer to every question, and often the articles it finds in response to your question are not freely available. But for many clinical scenarios, Google and other search engines can provide, quickly enough, an answer that is good enough. This article aims to provide tips that will help with these clinical scenarios, saving ...

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Washington Post: "Hundreds of very live Americans are walking around with pieces of the wrong dead people inside of them.

A macabre scandal has spread from a body-harvesting lab in New Jersey to hospitals as far away as Florida, Nebraska and Texas as hundreds of people discover that they have received tissue and bone carved from looted corpses."

Yummy - some natural food dyes come from beetles:

"Beetlejuice" is more than just a movie name "” foodmakers regularly use crushed female cochineal beetles to dye food, particularly certain yogurts, juices and candy, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

While shocking, it's perfectly legal, the paper reports. Foodmakers don't have to list the bug-based ingredient, because beetles are part of nature. Only man-made dyes, like FD&C Red ...

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Is nitro less effective in Asians? "New research indicates that up to 50 percent of Asians carry a genetic variant or 'polymorphism' that makes nitroglycerin less effective, or even ineffective, for the treatment of angina."

The FDA approves inhaled insulin. "Deutsche Bank analyst Barbara Ryan said she expects a daily supply of Exubera will cost about $4 to $5. Treatment with injected insulin costs $1 to $1.50, she said."

It's all fun and games until . . . "Joshua Philip Martin was in his fourth day on the job as a rescue-squad worker in Russell County when, in a playful mood, he decided to reach into the front seat of the ambulance and zap one of his co-workers with the defibrillator paddles. The rookie's mistake was fatal." (via Random Acts of Reality)

Sometimes, you just can't find forceps when you really need them.

Surprisingly, some countries are looking at the US for health-care guidance. Color some skeptical:

American scholars and policy analysts had expressed skepticism at Friday's conference that there was much the widely admired German health system could learn from the U.S. mode, which costs far more, leaves more than 40 million people uninsured and delivers worse results in life expectancy and infant mortality.

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